Lesley Lokko and Vincent Boudreau
Dear Valued Member of the CCNY Community,
I am writing to let you know that there has been a very small risk of exposure to COVID-19 within The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture. A faculty member, whose name we are not at liberty to disclose, has reported feeling flu-like symptoms and has immediately self-quarantined. He/she is otherwise fit and healthy and has no underlying health conditions that would put him/her at greater risk. However, we take the risk of exposure, however small, very seriously indeed. The faculty member has been tested for the Corona Virus, but results of that test will not be available for a week. For that reason, we are taking precautions.
A number of our students and faculty were in contact with this person over the past two weeks, and each has received personal emails informing them of this. Moreover, out of an abundance of caution, we have closed the Spitzer building and it will be subjected to a deep and thorough cleaning before it opens again. All Spitzer students, faculty and staff have been notified and asked to follow social distancing and self-observation guidelines with extra care and attention. Other members of our community should be advised that the faculty member in question has not ventured into any CCNY building apart from the school of architecture over the past few weeks, and so we think the risk of exposure is concentrated there. The faculty member was also only in a very limited number of rooms for the 2 days when he/she was on campus over the last several weeks.
We would like to reassure our entire CCNY community that the risks of infection remain fairly low, but we need to keep it that way. Apart from closing and thoroughly cleaning the Spitzer building, we are redoubling our calls to students and faculty to conduct your classes on line, preferably from your homes. We will continue the process of designating as many staff as possible for telecommuting work, and moving staff that cannot perform their duties from home to more flexible assignments. Staff and supervisors have also been asked to exercise great creativity in figuring out how to move more and more tasks traditionally performed on campus to a telecommuting format. As well as being in remote instruction mode, we are now moving to remote administration, for which we are fully prepared. We will monitor those exposed to this faculty member, and let the campus know if any of them develop symptoms. However, I should stress that, at the time of writing, we know of no other person who has developed symptoms.
From our community to yours, please stay safe, hydrated and follow your health care provider’s advice, should you feel in any way unwell. Without diminishing the potential seriousness of this illness, we also know that in the great majority of cases, patients recover fully with little difficulty. We look forward to welcoming our colleagues and students back at Spitzer and to the college once we have this threat under control. We wish you all health and security until we do.
Professor Lesley Lokko
The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture
The City College of New York